A journey to safe birthing station


On October 8, a group of Kathmandu Mid-Town Rotary members (of Rotary District 3292) along with some

members’ spouses, and youth headed to Mugu — a district of Karnali zone — to inaugurate a Birthing Center at a remotely located village called Shirkot.

Nepal now has over 80 active Rotary Clubs — Kathmandu Mid-Town Rotary being one of them — that functions under the Rotary International (RI). The objective of RI is to work to establish development projects in the world in line with six major areas of focus: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies.

The Shirkot Birthing Center project falls under the fourth focus — saving mothers and children. Included under this project is the Auxilliary Nurse and Midwives (ANM) training project, which comes through the 3-H Grant project no 59789 (means Health, Hunger, Humanity relief).

Day 1

We flew to Nepalgunj’s Ranjha airport on October 8. After a brief stop there, we reached Mugu’s Talcha airport. From there we headed to the Rara Lake, situated about 3,000 metres above sea level. To see the sparkling waters of pristine Rara Lake after almost six-hour-long uphill walking felt like a gift of reprieve.

We then set off towards our destination for the first night, Danfe Guest House. En route, we spoke to some military officers of Nepal Army who have their barracks there. We felt proud of their service for our nation.

Day 2

Eating scrumptious Faparko Roti (buckwheat pancake) for breakfast, we continued our journey. Passing through the Murma and Jewdi Khola, we reached the Smritika Hotel and Lodge in six hours. We were served refreshments of locally grown legumes, herbal tea, lemon-water, and local alcohol Marpha. Some of us were already interested to have a sip of it so early!

Unforgettable, beautiful landscapes but very remote, and still very distant from any advances made so far by the 21st Century men and women.

The encounter with the three children of Buddha Maya on our way to the Birthing Center was heart- rending for me. The youngest baby, a toddler, had on torn pants. We in the group have made plans to collect used but clean clothes for the children of Mugu who we met.

Through this article, I request readers to donate used unwanted but absolutely clean clothes for these children and those in JTM Orphanage. Anyone wishing to do so may contact me at: meenabpanday@gmail.com.

(The author specialises in English Literature, Gender, and Development)